Surgical stabilization of flail chest injuries with MatrixRIB implants: A prospective observational study

  • M. B
  • W.B. L
  • D. P
  • et al.
ISSN: 0020-1383
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Background: Surgical stabilization of flail chest injury with generic osteosynthesis implants remains challenging. A novel implant system comprising anatomic rib plates and intramedullary splints may improve surgical stabilization of flail chest injuries. This observational study evaluated our early clinical experience with this novel implant system to document if it can simplify the surgical procedure while providing reliable stabilization. Methods: Twenty consecutive patients that underwent stabilization of flail chest injury with anatomic plates and intramedullary splints were prospectively enrolled at two Level I trauma centres. Data collection included patient demographics, injury characterization, surgical procedure details and post-operative recovery. Follow-up was performed at three and six months to assess pulmonary function, durability of implants and fixation and patient health. Results: Patients had an Injury Severity Score of 28 ± 10, a chest Abbreviated Injury Score of 4.2 ± 0.4 and 8.5 ± 2.9 fractured ribs. Surgical stabilization was achieved on average with five plates and one splint. Intra-operative contouring was required in 14% of plates. Post-operative duration of ventilation was 6.4 ± 8.6 days. Total hospitalization was 15 ± 10 days. At three months, patients had regained 84% of their expected forced vital capacity (%FVC). At six months, 7 of 15 patients that completed follow-up had returned to work. There was no mortality. Among the 91 rib plates, 15 splints and 605 screws in this study there was no hardware failure and no loss of initial fixation. There was one incidence of wound infection. Implants were removed in one patient after fractures had healed. Conclusions: Anatomic plates eliminated the need for extensive intraoperative plate contouring. Intramedullary rib splints provided a less-invasive fixation alternative for single, non-comminuted fractures. These early clinical results indicate that the novel implant system provides reliable fixation and accommodates the wide range of fractures encountered in flail chest injury. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.




M., B., W.B., L., D., P., D., F., & S.M., M. (2013). Surgical stabilization of flail chest injuries with MatrixRIB implants: A prospective observational study. Injury, 44(2), 232–238. Retrieved from

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